Features & Functions of Hedge Trimmers
The hedge trimmer has become a common sight in domestic gardens, and has proved to be an essential and affordable piece of equipment for trimming, cutting and even sculpting your hedges and bushes. The hedge trimmer comes in various shapes and sizes and is manufactured by all the large retail brands. It can be bought from all reputable DIY stores and online gardening e-shops.
How a Hedge Trimmer works
At first sight the hedge trimmer resembles a chainsaw. The working machinery and handles are at the back of the device, while at the front are the large blades which do all the work. You will find trimmers with a single blade ( non-reciprocating) and dual blades (reciprocating blades). The single blade appliances, as can be expected, are more efficient cutting a lighter amount of foliage. As well as being able to take on a larger task, the dual blade appliance also makes for a finer neater cut. Critics of the single blade suggest that it does little more than shred. The two lightweight blades which work in tandem to cut through natural foliage cleanly and with minimal effort are usually between 6 inches and 28 inches long. The latter is really only used on very powerful machines and in a commercial environment. For domestic home use you should never need a blade longer than 18 inches.
Three types of hedge trimmer
There are basically three types of hedge trimmer – petrol powered, electric powered and battery operated. In the electric and battery operated models power is provided to a small motor in the housing via a plug or battery. Once the engine is running a crankshaft is triggered into life and moves backwards and forwards. The crankshaft is connected to the blades and in the case of reciprocating machines causes the blades to move in opposite directions.
The electric hedge trimmer will need to be plugged in to an electricity source. This can cause restrictions on where you wish to carry out your work and it may also be less flexible when trying to manoeuvre it to different angles when trying to make a clean cut. The petrol model is free of any of these issues but its disadvantage is it is much heavier than its electric cousins. However as it is generally more powerful it is excellent for the bigger projects. The advantage of the battery model is it is not only cordless it is also lightweight. So for small domestic jobs it is also vey useful. However it should also be taken into consideration that the charge does not last long and that it could take up to an hour to recharge it again.
A petrol hedge trimmer will more than likely be powered by a two stroke engine. Although more powerful, and manoeuvrable than the electric models, on the whole it will need more maintenance. Owners need to remember to ensure the fuel used in the tank is always fresh, clean, and the correct brand the manufacturer recommends. Before storing the appliance all fuel should be emptied out and then run the engine on ‘idle’ and so all the petrol in the carburettor is dispersed.
Long Reach hedge trimmer
Gardeners can now acquire a hedge trimmer for especially high bushes or shrubs. The telescopic hedge trimmer comes with up to three extra features. The shaft or handle can be extended to different lengths depending on the job in hand. This can be a great safety measure as it may get rid of the need for ladders and in doing so create a much more secure and safe environment. The second feature is the fact that the blade is able to align to be parallel with the top of the hedge. This allows you to trim quite precisely even though you maybe below the crown of the hedge. Thirdly in an attempt to make the trimmer lighter, the battery is detachable and wearable around the waist.
Another useful feature to look out for when buying your hedge trimmer is “rotating blades” This facility allows you to change the angle of the blades and hence means more flexibility and manoeuvrability when you work. An excellent safety feature on electric models is the cord retainer. This prevents the cord being pulled out form the energy source accidentally.